Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 44 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.6

Mixed or average reviews- based on 42 Ratings

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  • Summary: Developed by a hugely-talented, Tokyo-based team headed by the legendary Sawaki Takeyasu (Devil May Cry) and Masato Kimura (Okami, Viewtiful Joe) El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron, draws players into a rich storyline inspired by events in the Old Testament's apocryphal 'Book of Enoch.' In the game, players take on the role of Enoch and must harness his natural combat skills to master a range of powerful and Heavenly weapons under the guidance of the watchful Archangels. Only then will he be able to deliver the souls of the Fallen Angels and spare the world from a great flood ordered by Heaven. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 44
  2. Negative: 2 out of 44
  1. Aug 21, 2011
    91
    It's just brave and fun, two things most games only dream of being.
  2. Aug 16, 2011
    88
    Though El Shaddai could've used a little more replay value (or perhaps even some online multiplayer – not just leaderboard support), this game definitely looks and sounds like the sort of product that deserves multiple playthroughs, if only to relive its majesty for repeat visits and see what a talented development team can do.
  3. Sep 13, 2011
    80
    A game that's less concerned with making you think and more with making you feel. [Issue#113, p.106]
  4. 77
    El Shaddai has its frustrations and annoyances making it something of an acquired taste, but if you can get a feel for the rhythm-based hack and slash gameplay, and if you find the game's eclectic and achingly beautiful art style as arresting as we did, then you'll be in for a divine treat that's unlike anything you've played before.
  5. Aug 16, 2011
    75
    Is El Shaddai unconventional just for the sake of being different, or were the developers going for something bigger? Is being such an abstract game (on multiple levels) the overall point? Ultimately, I don't know the answer to these questions, but I'd definitely call El Shaddai an unconventional game and an entertaining adventure despite some of the creative gaps.
  6. Sep 19, 2011
    70
    Through its boldly chosen subject matter, ravishing good looks and slick mechanics El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron is without question a title that deserves to be played – the big question mark that hangs over it is whether you'll engage with it enough to care or to want to come back for second helpings.
  7. Aug 23, 2011
    33
    I'm all for experimentalism and maverick design, but there needs to be a game there and a sense of purpose to back it up. El Shaddai has neither.

See all 44 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 12
  2. Negative: 3 out of 12
  1. Aug 26, 2013
    10
    It is the unique artistic design, storyline and topic that makes El Shaddai a unique gaming experience. Nothing like it exists on console, you have to look at modern indie PC games for equally unique visuals. So if you want a game that stands out on your shelf this is it. The gameplay is a combination of 2D and 3D platforming with combat. Mostly combat though. The combat is not overly technical you only have to memorize ten or so button combinations, which is not a lot for this type of game. However having less button combinations to memorize made the game more enjoyable to me, I prefer being able to master a few moves over trying to recollect a tonne of them. I simply have more fun this way. Besides, mastering them can be difficult and the enemies are not that easy to beat. In addition, enemies require you to use specific weapons in order to beat them in the most efficient way. So there is a heavy trial and error aspect to El Shaddai. You also don't have much armor and health. By now you should realize that this is definitely not a button-mashing game. You need to play smart and master the combat. I had a great time with El Shaddai, I have done two playthroughs of it since I first bought it. For me the game has a high replay value because of the unique visuals and uncomplicated combat style. Like I said earlier, nothing like it exists on the 360 console. Expand
  2. Mar 2, 2012
    10
    I think that is a incomprended title, because The Shaddai is a beautiful game, with a strange story, is a really classic. The controls, graphics, gameplay, all do an awesome game. Expand
  3. Aug 25, 2011
    9
    La primeras horas de juego me dejaron muy buena impresión, la historia engancha y el sistema de combate poco a poco va dejando ver su potencial, gráficamente impecable. Recomiendo el juego. Expand
  4. Mar 6, 2012
    8
    Bargain Bin Review of El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron.

    If the idea of cavorting before a hipster guardian angel who communicates with
    God on a cell phone and doing battle with minions of a dreadlocked Michael Jackson-alike who vogues in front of the screen whilst youâ Expand
  5. Jul 16, 2013
    6
    When people discuss whether or not video games can be considered an art form there are invariably two titles that come up, namely Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. Now, I wouldn’t rate El Shaddai as highly as either of those Playstation 2 classics but when it comes to purity of vision it is must surely rank amongst the most visually stunning and unique games available on any console.

    Of course all this is pretty worthless if the gameplay isn’t up to par. Here it is mixed bag meaning that despite a few poor design choices, El Shaddai is also pretty fun to play in places. The combat for example, that at first seems fairly simplistic, quickly reveals its depth despite the fact that virtually every attack uses only the X button whilst the ‘Book of Enoch’ inspired storyline makes a welcome change from the usual uninspired video game plots.

    El Shaddai does let itself down somewhat during both its 2D and 3D platforming sections with controls that simply aren’t precise enough for the difficulty of certain sections. Despite the fact that you restart instantly from the point at which you died I found myself frustrated by this on a number of occasions. Aside from acquiring the odd new weapon or special move the gameplay itself also evolves very little from the start to the finish of the game but, while this certainly won’t be to everyone’s taste, I for one will always have time for a title that is willing to differentiate itself from the crowd.
    Expand
  6. Mar 1, 2013
    6
    I love the unpredictable, trippy, ethereal artsyle and simplicity of this game along with the amazing soundtrack and voice narration. The downfalls of the game are its repetitive combat. If the combat was more fleshed out, the game would be a lot more fun to play and one of my favorite games. It had the potential to be one of the best games ever. Still an interesting playthough even though a lot of the time feels like more of a chore than a game. Expand
  7. Aug 23, 2013
    2
    More like MetaBOMB! Wow. I've played well over 500 games. This is top 5 for worst ever. The first 2-3 chapters you assume they're creating the story, so you are more forgiving of the rambling, confusing non-sense. By the time you're wrapping up Chapter 12, you realized you've been playing for hours, have no idea what is actually going on, and your hands are tired from mindlessly mashing buttons. I could end the review with that, but there are so many more points of rage:
    1) During your first playthrough, there is no health gauge for you or bosses. Annoying, but enraging when you learn that on a second playthrough you can unlock that. Also, you can unlock scores on second playthroughs.
    2) 3 weapons. 3 weapons the whole game, with one being vastly superior and merely requiring button spamming
    3) Literally minutes of just walking down a corridor. Maybe so the dev can load the next scene? Maybe because in game design school they were absent on the day they discussed fun. Whatever the reason, I'd say in total, I spent 20 minutes simply walking in a black room with a light tunnel ahead. Seriously.
    4) Cheap bosses. Remember those old fighters where you'd play against some jerk who leg swept you 12 times then delivered an uppercut since the animations prevented you from blocking, moving, or doing anything about it? Yup...welcome to the tactics of about half the bosses. It's not overly difficult to avoid, but when you do...brace yourself for rage.
    5) Platforming with a miserable camera angle. We've been playing games for over 30 years. You'd think that by this point silly jump puzzles and platforming portions that were done poorly would at least have the common courtesy of giving you a decent camera angle. With El Shaddai...you thought wrong.

    The positives? This game has a really neat art style, the music builds up to epic during intense battles, and visually it's neat to see a different type of game tried. Unfortunately with the shallow gameplay, non-sensical story, horrific design choices, and maddening omissions, this game is dreadful. I bought it on XBL for $3. I overpaid.
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See all 12 User Reviews